The Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) program in Special Education (SPLED)and Curriculum and Instruction (C I) with an emphasis in Language and Literacy Education (LL ED) and certification as a Reading Specialist is designed to enable qualified undergraduates enrolled in the Special Education program to graduate in five years with a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in Special Education, a Master's of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction, and preparation for certification in Special Education and as a Reading Specialist (K-­12). In addition to the field based experiences included in the SPLED program, students in the IUG will complete graduate level courses focusing on the extensive literature on teaching reading and will work in an on campus reading clinic with learners without identified special needs but who require additional support learning to read.

Who is the appropriate SPLED/C I-LL ED IUG student?

The five-­year, SPLED/C I-­LL ED IUG is an option for highly qualified students seeking certification to teach Special Education in Pennsylvania and who have a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher and a grade of B or better in SPLED 412. Students not intending to stay in Pennsylvania may also apply if they desire and meet admission requirements.


Beginning during the application process, as well as subsequent to admission, students should communicate with both their SPLED program adviser and program adviser for the C I Reading Specialist program to ensure requirements of both programs are met.

Reduced Course Load

EDPSY 421 and LL ED 595A may be double counted for the Reading Specialist as well as SPLED degrees.

Tuition Charges

Undergraduate tuition rates will apply as long as the student is an undergraduate, unless the student receives financial support, such as an assistantship requiring payment of graduate tuition.


Pennsylvania’s Special Education (SPLED) teacher certification requirements mandate that those teaching students with special needs in Pennsylvania hold two certifications, e.g. SPLED and another certificate. The primary area of academic need of students with disabilities is in the area of reading and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has included certification as a Reading Specialist (along with completion of a SPLED degree) as qualifying one to teach special education in Pre-­Kindergarten through high school settings and across exceptionalities. The undergraduate degree in SPLED requires four semesters of rigorous coursework combined with a series of related field experiences. While there is significant emphasis on the teaching of reading within these four semesters, additional in-depth study of reading at the graduate level will be highly valuable to SPLED majors, and the learners they teach, as will earning a Reading Specialist certificate. Outside this program, coursework and credits required to earn a Reading Specialist in a full time course of study typically require two summers and an academic year post undergraduate graduation to complete. This may be cost prohibitive for many students and an Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree offers the advantage of two certifications at a reduced financial and temporal cost that might provide some relief to students while enhancing their overall teaching skill.

To summarize, the benefits of the IUG are that this program will:

  1. Permit coherent planning of an in-depth study of the teaching of reading through a graduate program emphasizing the teaching of reading;
  2. Result in graduates holding two Pennsylvania teaching certificates;
  3. Allow cost savings for students challenged to cover rising tuition rates;
  4. Encourage earlier contact with faculty outside of Special Education who also have expertise in reading; and
  5. Make resources of the graduate school available to students.

Time of Admission

Students wishing to apply for admission to the Special Education (SPLED) and Curriculum & Instruction (C I) Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree initiate their application during the semester in which they complete SPLED 412. They finalize the application process at the end of the semester with a grade of B or better in SPLED 412. While this is typically the end of the junior year of study, it may fall sooner or later in a student's program.

Joint Admission

Admission to the SPLED/C I IUG with reading specialist program will be based upon having attained a minimum GPA of 3.5 in Special Education courses, with a grade of B or better in SPLED 412. Admission will be based on a recommendation by the Reading Specialist Program Coordinator in consultation with the Coordinator of Teacher Education in Special Education.

If the student enrolls in the SPLED program and decides not to continue on to the joint SPLED/C I IUG, the student may complete SPLED 495 in their final semester and graduate with a B.S. in Special Education.

Plan of Study

Although a recommended sequence of courses is provided below (after delineation of requirements for both degrees individually), prospective students should work closely with the Curriculum & Instruction (C I) Reading Specialist program adviser as well as their Special Education (SPLED) adviser prior to admission to the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree program to prepare their IUG plan of study. Following the sequence below enables a student who for some reason is unable to complete the IUG to complete a student teaching experience in SPLED during the eighth semester and complete the SPLED undergraduate degree in a timely manner. The entire program requires 147-­150 credits.

Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) Special Education Requirements (as stand alone degree)

For the B.S. degree in Special Education, 121 credits are required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-­‐2)

(12-­15 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selections)

(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selections)


ELECTIVES: 3 credits[19]

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 87-­‐90 credits[21]
(This includes 12-15 credits of General Education courses: 6 credits of General Quantification (GQ) courses; 6 credits of General Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) courses; and 0-­3 credits of General Health and Physical Activity (GHA) courses.)

EDPSY 014(3), EDPSY 101 GQ(3), EDTHP 115 US(3), EDPSY 10 (3), MATH 200 GQ(3), EDPSY 421 (3), PSYCH 100 GS(3), PSYCH 212 GS(3) (Sem: 1-­‐4) SPLED 425(4), SPLED 395W(3), SPLED 401(4), SPLED 408(3), SPLED 411(3), SPLED 412(4), SPLED 404 (3), SPLED 454(4), SPLED 495E(3) (Sem: 5-­‐6) SPLED 409A(3), SPLED 409B(3), SPLED 409C(3), SPLED 418 (2), SPLED 495F(15), SPLED 495G(4) (Sem: 7-­‐8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (0-­‐3 credits)
Red Cross Certification in First Aid and CPR(0)

A grade of C or better per course is required for all Special Education prerequisites and teacher certification.

Master's of Education (M.Ed.) Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in Language and Literacy Education with Reading Specialist Certificate (as standalone degree)

For the M.Ed. degree in Curriculum and Instruction, 30 credits are required.

CORE AREAS (9 credits; choose one course from each area):

  • Curriculum: CI 550
  • Research: CI 501 or EDPSY 400
  • Learning: EDPSY 421, EDPSY 545, or HDFS 429

*LL ED 500, *LL ED 501, *LL ED 545, *LL ED 550, *LL ED 595A, EDLDR 563, and EDPSY 526 (EDPSY 421 prerequisite)

Note: LL ED 550 and LL ED 595A must be taken concurrently (and during summers only).

A passing score on the PRAXIS Reading Specialist Exam (qualifying score of 570) is required for Reading Specialist certification.